99 Year Old Charlie Munger Calls for Crypto Ban

The billionaire called on the United States to follow China’s lead and just ban the whole technology.

99 Year Old Charlie Munger Calls for Crypto Ban
Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Key Takeaways

  • Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger called on the United States to ban crypto altogether.
  • The 99-year-old criticized the crypto industry for some of its predatory tokenomic practices.
  • In 2021 Munger called crypto “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization.”

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99-year-old billionaire Charlie Munger thinks the lack of regulation in the crypto industry is causing private companies to release cryptocurrencies with predatory tokenomics. He isn’t wrong, but his solution—ban all crypto in the United States—seems a bit drastic.

Following China’s “Splendid Example”

Charlie Munger still doesn’t like crypto.

The 99-year-old Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday in which he called for the United States to ban crypto altogether. 

“A cryptocurrency is not a currency, not a commodity, and not a security. Instead, it’s a gambling contract with a nearly 100% edge for the house, entered into in a country where gambling contracts are traditionally regulated only by states that compete in laxity,” stated Munger. He criticized crypto projects for pre-selling tokens to VCs before releasing only a sliver of the token’s supply to the public—a predatory scheme that allows seed-round investors to dump their holdings on retail investors.

“Such wretched excess has gone on because there is a gap in regulation,” Munger claimed, citing the need for governmental pre-approval of disclosures before making a privately owned company issue a new coin. He then urged the United States to follow China’s lead and simply ban cryptocurrencies, stating that the nation should thank “Chinese communist leader [Xi Jinping] for his splendid example of uncommon sense.”

It’s not the first time the billionaire has voiced his views on crypto; in fact, the op-ed may well mark Munger’s most reasonable criticism of the industry to date. In May 2021, Munger stated that the asset class was “disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,” adding that he didn’t “welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth.”

Munger’s famous business partner, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, has also expressed his skepticism of crypto, though in milder terms. “The idea [that Bitcoin] has some huge intrinsic value is a joke in my view,” he claimed in a 2018 CNBC interview. 

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.

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